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Discover how to use Adobe Photoshop, without any added fine art skills, to modify artwork and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Author and illustrator Bert Monroy takes an unexciting photo and transforms it into an amazing dream sequence by combining it with other photos and techniques. His process touches on compositing, digital painting, masking, and other key image editing techniques. All you need is Photoshop, some images that could use a boost, and your imagination!
Now, here is a close-up shot of that same sinkhole that I talked about in the introduction. Now, I am going to carve out the parts of this sinkhole that I want to use in my image. So, I could turn it into a mountain range, a big side of a mountain. Now, I have created an alpha channel right here. There is the alpha channel that's going to encompass the part of the island that I want. Now, in the movie on how to use and create alpha channels, I explained the process that I went through here, but here, we see that the alpha channel is already created.
So, what I am going to do is I am going to turn that into a selection, then isolate those sections of the rocks. I am going to send them over to a new Layer Via Copy. I am going to do the same thing to this other picture of the same sink hole just another section of it, and again I have an alpha channel there that I have created that isolates the part of this sinkhole that I want to use as my mountainous terrain. So, as before, I am going to go in there and turn the alpha channel into a selection, and send that to a new Layer Via Copy.
So now I have layers for each of these little island areas right there. There it is. This seascape here is where I am going to go ahead and create my visual. So, I am going to go in here, and let's go to full screen. What I am going to do is I am going to take that sea, and put it into a layer of its own, a whole new layer. And that little pelican right there, well, we don't worry about him, because he is going to get covered by our islands. But if you really were worried about him, I could just take my Clone tool, and we'll just clone the water right next to it, and there, here is gone very quick.
Hopefully, no environmentalist will be made at me for doing that, but there, you know the pelican is gone. All right. So now, what I am going to do with this is I am going to rotate this guy horizontal. I am going to do a little flip. I will have my light area here, and we'll play with that in a few minutes after we bring our islands in. So, I am going to take that first one right here. I am going to grab that layer, and just drag it right into here. Now, it's much larger than we need. So we'll adjust it in a minute. Let's first go, and get that other island, take this one right there, there is the other one, drag that into our scene. So now we have all our islands.
So now, I've got a full screen on this, so I can now start to adjust them. Let's adjust the big one here first. Let's pull back a little bit, so we can get to see the whole thing, and I'll hit Command+T to give me my controls for transforming. I am going to go in there, and let's reduce our island here, and put it in position right about where we want it, right about here like this. That will be a nice size for it right about there. Then we'll have it kind of bleed off the top right there.
So, there is our island in position. Now, this one here, we'll turn that on. We actually want this one to be behind our little scene here. So, we are going to go in there and just kind of truncate this one down a little bit, and see what we've got. And I am going to go in there and shrink it down as well. We'll put it in position right about where we want it, right in there like that, and we'll shrink it even more.
This is a little further away, much further away, way out there like that. Now that we have it in there, we see that there is parts that we don't want, we can easily get rid of those. Now, there is our other little island, and I am just going to kind of tuck it in back here. So, it's going to be really far back, and I shrink it down even more, shrink it down, because this one is way in the back, back there, and we are going to blur it a little bit in a little while, so we just put it way back in there, and I am going to darken it a bit. I am going to go in here, and darken it this way, so this just becomes a little darker and reduce its saturation.
And let's go to full screen here so we can see what's happening. There is my island a little further back, and we can make it even smaller. Now that we see it in place, we just put it way back there, way in the back, and we are going to blur it. Because of the fact that it's so far back, we are going to go in there, and we are going to blur that island. Kind of like its surroundings around there just bring it down, it's a little further away, way back in there. There is our little island far away. So now, we are going to duplicate it.
And the one that we just duplicated, the one in back here, we are going to do a little flip vertical on it. I am going to drag it down below. Now that it's below, I am going to go in there and bring down its opacity, considerably, right a bit there like that. And let's get real close so we see what's going to start to happen now. I am going to go in there, I am going to blur that just a little bit more, go in there, and blur that some more just a little tiny bit more. I like some of those tones to show through. So, what I am going to do is I am going to double-click on it to bring up the layer styles.
And down here in the Blend If modes, I want some of those dark tones to show through, so I am going to pull in these lines right here. I am going to bring this so that the underlying layer is going to start showing through. I am going to Option-Split that, so I get really soft transition. So, I start to get a really soft indication of a little reflection now there, and the same thing with the whites. I am going to bring those in so that my whites are show through, split that, so all my little white tones are show through. And then I am just getting this nice little softening of the water showing through this little reflection underneath.
And as a final touch to it, I am going to give it a little filter of Motion Blur, Motion Blur, and I am going to go straight up and down. So, I'll set this up to a 90, so it's straight up and down, and just give it just enough so that it softens it up like that, and I have a reflection of what's far away. So, we are going to, in the next movie, set up the foreground for this particular island.
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